When Do Kittens Eyes Change Color?
A couple of days ago, I was looking at some old photos and I realized that when my cat was born she had blue eyes and now they are green. It was quite fascinating and when the most recent litter was born, I decided to document that change. It was mind blowing.
At birth, kittens are pretty helpless. Their eyes and ears are shut and functionless. The only sense they have going for them straight out of the womb is the sense of touch and smell. At this time, they are able to do two things really well. They can sleep and eat. Actually, that is all they do. Even though you can slowly see some of these features developing, you can’t help but wonder when do kittens’ eyes change color?
Why Do All Kittens Have Blue Eyes?
In the first week of their life, kittens are as blind as a bat. Their eyes are shut with no functionality. It is not until the second week that the eyes start opening and everything appears as a ‘light blur’. At this point, their paw to eye coordination is also very poor like they have downs syndrome and they can’t help but stumble and bump into everything. It explains why they can’t even leave their whelping box.
Once the eyes are fully open, you will notice that in all kittens they tend to be blue. This is usually because of the light that is refracted off the cornea and the thickness of the four layers. Simply put, at this time, your kitten has no eye color. The only thing you are seeing is the effect of the light being refracted from the cornea which is represented as a blue or blue-green color.
Where do the Brown or Green Eyes come From?
Anywhere from week six, your kitten’s eyes will start the color change. The iris contains little cells called melanocytes which are at the peak of their development around this time. Once they are mature enough, they start producing melanin. This is the pigment that is responsible for your kittens adult eye color. The final color and depth of the eye will depend on how many melanocytes and how much melanin is produced. If the least amount of melanin is produced, your cat is going to have a light green melanin and cats with brown eyes have the most melanin produced.
What about Cat’s with Blue Eyes or are Odd-eyed?
Even though some kittens go through the incredible process of changing eye color, some of them don’t and they are an exception. For cats with blue eyes, this is usually because low or no melanin was produced. Siamese and breeds developed from the Siamese are commonly known for this trait. These include other breeds like;
There are also cats with heterochromia iridium. It is a condition in which each of the eyes has a different color. It is beauty like you have never seen before in cats. I have always wanted to have a cat with such eyes but I guess I have to keep waiting. It is as a result of each eye having different amounts of melanocytes which produce different amounts of melanin. It is usually not a reason for concern but you can definitely marvel at the beauty.
Will the Eyes Change Color Again in Adulthood?
Nope! At about 8 weeks, your kittens eye have come full circle. If you are wondering when do kittens’ eyes change color or if they will change color again, no they don’t. at this point, they are fully mature and fully functional.
Even though your kittens eyes have now matured, that doesn’t mean they are safe from the kittens own clumsiness. The eyes might change color as a result of the infection of the cornea or also as a result of an infection called uveitis.
With a cornea infection, the cornea will turn blue. With Uveitis, symptoms include the affected eye being red, discharge, change in eye color and cloudiness. If you notice any color changes, it is important that you take your cat to the vet for adequate treatment.
Other kitten eye problems include;
- Eye trauma from bumping into thing from the house or from litter mates
- Congenital problems especially with Persians
If you notice discharge, squinting, bumps or lumps around the eyes, it is time to make a dash to the vet. The sooner most of this problems are caught, the easier they are to treat.
Cats never cease to amaze from when they are less than a pound heavy, they are quite interesting. It’s great that you noticed the color change and now you know when do kittens’ eye change color and the reasoning behind that. Just take extra caution watching the little guys. They tend to be very clumsy and can easily hurt themselves.